(Image credit: http://leerit.com/hoc-tieng-anh-theo-chu-de/)
I’m sat on my bed scoffing two rolls, Doritos, a huge glass of Bucks Fizz and Mumford are playing through my speakers. It’s a pretty good afternoon. You may be wondering why I’ve got Bucks Fizz. It was a present for getting my new job. Woo, you can read about that here. I can’t believe it’s still in the fridge to be honest (the Bucks Fizz not the job because that would be weird…) Not that I’m complaining, it makes up for the lack of sunshine. C’mon summer, buck up your ideas.
In this post I will tell you how to give the best ever interview to bag yourself that top (or mediocre) job. I’ve had 10 interviews in my 21 years of life (and had a fair few jobs along the way.) I know what sort of pesky questions, that we all hate, might crop up and hopefully how to impress the interviewer. Don’t have a glass of Bucks Fizz before the interview, I’m allowed, I’ve done the hard work now.
- Strike up a good relationship
Everyone knows it’s important to create a good first impression but how exactly do you do that? Find something you have in common with your interviewer. You may be thinking this would be impossible with someone you’ve just met but alas no. Draw on popular culture, you’re more likely to find common ground there. How exactly do you work this into your interview though? Easy, a common question interviewers like to ask is what are your interests? They don’t necessarily want to know about your passion for the job, they want to know a little bit more about you. This is where you have to ‘stand out’. Eugh, I hate that word. It used to scare me but actually it’s not all that hard.
My go to example for my interests is either Game of Thrones or reading Peter James books. They are both examples of popular culture that hopefully your interviewer is a fan of too. Draw on why you like them and your favourite parts. Make it personal and relatable like you set aside every Monday night just to watch the show or you’ve read all of Peter James’ books (even if you haven’t) and recognise the places he writes about when you drive past them in Brighton. That’s what makes you stand out.
2. Be overly charming
By this I don’t mean flirtatious because that won’t get you very far. Just be the most endearing version of yourself you can be. Act passionate about everything and smile a lot. Act relaxed and take your time answering questions. Laugh at jokes (even if they’re not funny) and never be afraid to comment on the weather. Us Brits love a good conversation about how breezy it was this morning or how you put your washing out but may have to get it in now because there’s a grey cloud lurking. Most of all, try and figure out what sort of person your interviewer is. If they seem relaxed and eager to know about you, then try and engage them in conversation but if they are a bit more up tight and to the point, be professional and knowledgeable. I’ve had a mix of both so be prepared for either.
3. Be overly confident
I don’t like talking about how good I am at things. It’s really hard to boast without feeling like you’re a selfish individual but playing on confidence will get you that job. Use I a lot and draw on as many experiences as you can think of which make you look good. They don’t have to be work related. Play up small jobs you had and talk about times you have taken control of situations. If you’re unsure on some of the tasks set out in the job description, talk about how you would plan on handling these by researching and attending training. You will most likely get asked about your skills or what skills you think are needed for the job.
My go to skill is communication because I have lots of customer facing experience that I can draw on as examples. Team work is another good one which leads on nicely from communication. I’ve often been asked about how I manage my time so maybe mentioning time management as a skill would be an advantage. Talk about a time you had to meet a deadline. This should be easy as everyone has had to meet deadlines in some aspect of life.
4. Be passionate
I have sort of mentioned this but even if you don’t see this as your dream job, make sure you portray how much you want it without mentioning money or holiday allowance. A little white lie won’t do any harm such as I have a real passion for clothes if you don’t. Be passionate about taking on new challenges and responsibilities. Mention the word new environment in there too and you’re golden. Make sure your tone of voice portrays this passion and the interviewer will think you are likely to work hard.
5. Make your weakness easily curable
We are so often told to talk about a weakness and turn it into a strength and so many times I have done this and not got the job. I talked about being a perfectionist but actually seeing it as a strength blah blah blah. The interviewer has heard this all before. Use something more specific to the job. It may be something you are worried you can’t do from the job description. Say you don’t have much experience in that area but would be willing to research it, attend training and maybe your experience in this area would help.
So there’s a few tips to help you tackle that interview. Hopefully it helped! Let me know if there are any other good tips you’ve been told. Think of it like a casual chat about you, your experience and what you can bring to the company. Remember, they’re only people!